Eternal Fire overcome Liquid to claim last EPL playoff berth
Liquid struggled to show their best self in their second series of the day.
Eternal Fire have eliminated Liquid from ESL Pro League after a 16-12 win on Vertigo and 16-6 on Mirage to secure the series 2-0. It caps an impressive group for Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli’s men with three victories over top 20 sides.
Liquid defeated Lynn Vision earlier today, and were hoping to evade the exhaustion that can plague teams that have to play two matches in one day. "It's a hard day, waking up at 10am and playing the late match," said Damian "daps" Steele pre-game. "We managed it as best we could, but it’s not ideal. Eternal Fire can sleep later, and balance their day. We’re not gonna use it as an excuse but we wish it wasn’t the case."
It started well for Liquid on Vertigo, where they won the first pistol and reached a 5-1 lead after a smart 1v4 in the post-plant from Josh "oSee" Ohm. Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş' multi-kills on the A ramp threatened to turn the tide, and turn it did. Eternal Fire’s talisman even reached 500 utility damage by round 10, and the half ended 8-7.
The game truly came alive in the first gun round of the second half at 7-11, where Ali "Wicadia" Haydar Yalçın began a spree of multi-kill rounds flying up the A ramp. Five multi-kills in eight rounds for the 18-year-old helped him to a 30-bomb and Eternal Fire to a 16-12 victory, Liquid managing only one gun round win on their CT side.
Mirage was next, and Liquid had a solid start again. The score was 4-4, with Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis already poking holes in the Eternal Fire defense to flank the B bomb-site. Then, exhaustion kicked in. Liquid's energy sapped, and they could not win another T round to end the half 4-11 down.
Defaults failed time and time again as Eternal Fire made their extra preparation time count, even brandishing a double AWP setup to lock down Liquid’s B pops. Hopes of any comeback were snuffed out rather quickly in the second half despite Liquid winning the pistol as they failed to make any dents in the gun rounds afterward.
Five rounds in a row for Eternal Fire confirmed a 16-6 victory and the last playoff berth at ESL Pro League. It seals another disappointing outing for Liquid's new international side, who could not qualify for BLAST Fall Final or the main event of IEM Cologne and will now miss EPL playoffs as well.
On the other side of the server, MAJ3R reflected on the "chance to be a top team in Europe as a Turkish team, as the only Turkish team left," and Eternal Fire will have a chance to cement that status in the playoffs next week.
|Eternal Fire||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|48 - 29||+19||105.7||1.54|
|43 - 23||+20||79.4||1.28|
|37 - 31||+6||98.3||1.26|
|29 - 21||+8||60.2||1.11|
|24 - 31||-7||59.8||0.90|